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15/01/2007

2006 Marks Second Best Year For Film Funding

The UK Film Council has revealed the amount of money spent in 2006 on making films in the UK soared by 48% to reach £840 million making it the second best year ever.
According to the statistics, which cover films with production budgets of £500,000 and above, production spending in 2006 totalled £840.1 million, up from £568.8 million in 2005.
With UK involvement in 134 feature films, inward investment rose by over 80% to £569.6 million up from £312 million in 2005.
The figures cover the UK spend of indigenous UK film production, inward investment productions (films with finance from overseas but made mainly or significantly in the UK), inward co-productions, and UK co-productions filmed both in the UK and abroad using UK crew and expertise for the calendar year 2006.
The statistics which are based on financial information supplied by the film industry show that the UK was involved in the production of a total of 134 feature films (up from 124 in 2005) including 50 UK feature films, 27 inward investment films and 57 UK co-productions.
The total film production spending in the UK increased by 48% to £840.1 million from £568.8 million in 2005, an increase of £271 million. Inward investment from international filmmakers, such as the major Hollywood studios locating productions in the UK, increased by 83% bringing £569.6 million into the British economy, up from £312 million in 2005. This comprised £502.8 million from single countries a doubling of 2005’s figure of £240.8 million and £66.8 million from co-productions with the UK - down slightly on 2005’s figure of £71.2 million.
Inward investment films included Chris Weitz’s 'His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass' based on the first book from Philip Pullman’s trilogy; Matthew Vaughn’s 'Stardust' featuring Robert De Niro, Claire Danes and Sienna Miller; David Yates’s 'Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix'; David Dobkin’s 'Fred Claus' starring Kevin Spacey and Kathy Bates; and Paul Greengrass’s 'The Bourne Ultimatum' with Matt Damon.
In all 50 UK indigenous feature films were produced in 2006, a rise of 35% from 37 in 2005 but the total UK spend on such films at £148 million was down 11% on 2005’s £166.3 million.
UK indigenous films included Joe Wright’s Atonement based on the novel by Ian McEwan and starring Keira Knightley and James McAvoy; 'The Magic Flute' directed by Kenneth Branagh; Steve Bendelack’s 'Mr Bean’s Holiday' featuring Rowan Atkinson; Shekhar Kapur’s 'The Golden Age', the sequel to 'Elizabeth'; and Edgar Wright’s 'Hot Fuzz', the action comedy starring Simon Pegg.
The UK was involved in 57 co-productions (other than inward investment) which saw a 35% jump in UK spend to £122.5 million in 2006 from £90.5 million in 2005. These included 'Closing the Ring' directed by Sir Richard Attenborough, 'Death Defying Acts' directed by Gillian Armstrong about Harry Houdini’s love affair with a psychic; and the Jane Austen biopic 'Becoming Jane' directed by Julian Jarrold.
John Woodward, Chief Executive Officer of the UK Film Council was positive about the future of UK film: "2006 was a great year for film production in the UK. Overall production spend on film in the UK is up by almost 50% at £840 million. Inward investment by the American studios has also bounced back with an increase of more than 80% on 2005.
“We are back in business with British filmmakers winning international awards, a crop of great British films produced, British talent and facilities in demand from filmmakers around the world, and the new tax credit which came into force this year will ensure that the UK stays one of the best places in the world to produce a film.
"2007 will see the release of a number of exciting new films including the award-winning This is England; Notes on a Scandal; Atonement; The Other Boleyn Girl; and 28 Weeks Later.
"And films such as 'The Queen', and Lottery-funded 'The Last King of Scotland' and 'Venus' are also tipped to do well during the forthcoming awards season.”
Film Minister, Shaun Woodward added: "Two Potters - Harry and Beatrix - a Golden Compass and a bit of Stardust have helped the UK's film industry have one of its best years ever with production spending up 48% to £840 million. These figures show that the UK is a great place to make a film."
The UK Film Council is the Government-backed strategic agency for film in the UK.
The agency's aim is to stimulate a successful, vibrant film industry and to promote the widest possible enjoyment and understanding of cinema throughout the UK.
The UK Film Council seeks to deliver lasting benefits to the industry and the public through three core principles - creativity, enterprise and imagination.
(DS/SP)
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